The government has brought forward the implementation of a long-awaited cap on the cost of care to 2016, and set it at £72,000.
In his Budget speech yesterday, George Osborne said he would bring the social care cap forward to 2016 to help people pay for care. The threshold for means tested residential care will be set at £118,000 from the same year.
The cap was originally planned for 2017, to be set at £75,000.
The cap will mean that no one has to pay for care which exceeds £72,000. It follows recommendations made by economist Andrew Dilnot in 2011.
Mr Osborne said: ‘Helping with aspiration also means helping those who want to keep their homes instead of having to sell it to pay for the costs of social care. That’s what our new cap will deliver - as Andrew Dilnot recommended.
‘For decades politicians have talked of doing something for savers and those who have to sell their homes to pay for care; and yet nothing has been done.’
Rebecca Mollart, director of policy at campaign group Erosh, said: ‘We will not see these changes until April 2016 so the reform of social care is still a way off but it is a step in the right direction to see the government accepting the recommendations of the Dilnot report and acting on those to protect the needs of vulnerable older people.’
Ravi Govindia, executive member for adult services at London Councils, said funding for care was still uncertain: ‘The capital has fewer homeowners, which means that supporting those who cannot pay towards the costs of their care falls to councils. Councils are working hard to meet current demands and making efficiency savings, but there is still a potential £907 million funding gap by 2018 in adult social care in London alone, which must be addressed.’